Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Power-grid experiment could confuse electric clocks
MSNBC ^ | June 24, 2011 | Seth Borenstein

Posted on 06/24/2011 11:36:30 PM PDT by John W

WASHINGTON — A yearlong experiment with America's electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers — and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast.

The group that oversees the U.S. power grid is proposing an experiment that would allow more frequency variation than it does now without corrections, according to a company presentation obtained by The Associated Press.

Officials say they want to try this to make the power supply more reliable, save money and reduce what may be needless efforts. The test is tentatively set to start in mid-July, but that could change.

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 60hz; ecoweenies; electricity; energypolicy; greenreligion; powergrid; waronamerica; waronindustry
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-79 next last

1 posted on 06/24/2011 11:36:34 PM PDT by John W
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: John W

It must be true, look at the freerepublic clock compared to your computer.


2 posted on 06/24/2011 11:42:41 PM PDT by ansel12 (America has close to India population of 1950s, India has 1,200,000,000 people now. Quality of Life?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W
The group that oversees the U.S. power grid is proposing an experiment that would allow more frequency variation than it does now without corrections, according to a company presentation obtained by The Associated Press. Officials say they want to try this to make the power supply more reliable, save money and reduce what may be needless efforts.

In Newspeak, random uncorrected frequency variations equals more reliable.

3 posted on 06/24/2011 11:47:08 PM PDT by 6SJ7 (atlasShruggedInd = TRUE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W

Rushing to third world status.


4 posted on 06/24/2011 11:47:26 PM PDT by Crim (Palin / West '12)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W

Oh great! The AC line frequency in the US has been 60HZ since the beginning of time. Do these people realize how many devices and processes will be screwed up by this? A lot of machinery relies on induction motors who’s running speed is reliant on line frequency.


5 posted on 06/24/2011 11:50:36 PM PDT by factoryrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: factoryrat

Thats what I was thinking when I posted this, unless I’m missing something.


6 posted on 06/24/2011 11:53:54 PM PDT by John W (Natural-born US citizen since 1955)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: factoryrat

According to the article the maximum variation would be about 14 seconds a day.


7 posted on 06/24/2011 11:56:05 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: John W

Thanks for one more late night opportunity to share...

http://www.augustreview.com/issues/technocracy/technocracy_endgame:_global_smart_grid_20110609169/


8 posted on 06/24/2011 11:59:30 PM PDT by MurrietaMadman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62

Right, but, the point is if you have a motor chosen for an application-and there are an almost infinite number of different applications-and you’ve chosen one that runs at 1770 RPM because that is exactly what you need for that application and everything involved is set for that requirement, with this “experiment” that could apparently vary at any given moment-I think. It seems to me its more complicated than a bunch of messed up clocks.


9 posted on 06/25/2011 12:01:33 AM PDT by John W (Natural-born US citizen since 1955)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: John W

I’m thinking their idea is that they want to boost the line voltage to compensate for I2R loses caused by peak demand. The only way they can do that without changing the infrastucture is to run their alternators at a higher speed, which up’s the line frequency. This doesn’t affect most electronic devices because they use various DC power supplies, along with internal timebases.


10 posted on 06/25/2011 12:09:09 AM PDT by factoryrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: John W

Maybe they’ll inadvertently cause a huge black-out.


11 posted on 06/25/2011 12:22:51 AM PDT by unkus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W

Okay....

Been there, done that. Oil rigs have their own light plants, generators which provide power for the drill site.

In the past, when those were not necessarily kept up to snuff, we had variations in the frequency of power provided. Which means electric motors wore out far quicker, (from the large motors that ran pumps, right down to the little motors which ran chart drives on gas monitoring equipment. On occasion, the power was so bad, electronic devices would not function.

Now they want to do this to the grid?

Which means your home goodies won’t function as advertised, aqnd their lifespan will be shortened, from your furnace blower and air conditioner, refrigerator, washer, dryer, right down to the little pump that blows bubbles in your fish tank.


12 posted on 06/25/2011 12:23:01 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MurrietaMadman

Thanks for the link. This smart grid had “ultimate control” written all over it as far as I was concerned. Glad to see someone out there has this pegged for what it is.


13 posted on 06/25/2011 12:25:39 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Muslim Brotherhood (renames itself) the Liberty and Justice Party. NOT A JOKE.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: factoryrat
I’m thinking their idea is that they want to boost the line voltage to compensate for I2R loses caused by peak demand. The only way they can do that without changing the infrastucture is to run their alternators at a higher speed, which up’s the line frequency. This doesn’t affect most electronic devices because they use various DC power supplies, along with internal timebases.


So the errors would always be in the same direction (clocks run fast) and would be cumulative?

14 posted on 06/25/2011 12:26:16 AM PDT by az_gila
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: MurrietaMadman

Smartgrid: I can’t think of a better reason to get OFF the grid.

Right now I do no use televisions for anything, not even viewing movies.

I’ve been thinking of getting rid of the land line, but cell phones are unattractive as an alternative.

I’m thinking of all kinds of ways to get away from my small town way of living.


15 posted on 06/25/2011 12:27:47 AM PDT by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: az_gila

Yes, if they rely on line frequency, they would run fast and gain time. Some appliances that have a digital clock (stoves, microwaves) DO use line frequency as as timebase. I found this out when I ran a microwave off a portable generator once. The countdown on the cooking timer went way faster than normal.


16 posted on 06/25/2011 12:41:10 AM PDT by factoryrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Smokin' Joe

Sounds like a job creation scam. We’ll have to consume more and pump more money into our failing economy.


17 posted on 06/25/2011 12:41:27 AM PDT by Califreak (I heard Reagan is back and this time he's Jewish...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Califreak
I think it is beyond that.

If industrial power is monkeyed with as well as residential, the effects could be devastating as MTBF cycles are accelerated, equipment fails prematurely and must be replaced.

What better way to further cripple an ailing economy than destroy the little engines which run it?

Not to mention the potential for damage to electronic systems which could cause chaos.

18 posted on 06/25/2011 12:47:16 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Smokin' Joe

I hear that. I the plant I work in, you would not believe the carnage that is caused by something is simple as a brownout, even if it lasts a split second. I have spent hours recovering machine operations over that.


19 posted on 06/25/2011 12:52:24 AM PDT by factoryrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Smokin' Joe

Hoo boy, the IEEE will be in their faces about this and for good reason. I do not know how these Obamonkeys figure they can horse around with the frequency and timing of residential power without touching industrial power. Of course, sites like hospitals that need super clean power will have motor generator units on site already, but if the driving motor is synced to the power line frequency even they will be scrod. This would be like an impromptu test for Y2K carried out in 1996.


20 posted on 06/25/2011 1:29:30 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: John W

Don’t worry, the government will issue coupons so that the po’ folk can buy new crystal-controlled clocks and microwaves at a reduced price.


21 posted on 06/25/2011 1:32:06 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Fresh Wind

The time to do this would have been years in advance of the “test.”


22 posted on 06/25/2011 1:55:00 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Hawk)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Smokin' Joe

BINGO!!!


23 posted on 06/25/2011 2:22:14 AM PDT by A. Morgan (Ayn Rand: "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: John W

http://www.dynamicdemand.co.uk/grid.htm


24 posted on 06/25/2011 2:45:00 AM PDT by A. Morgan (Ayn Rand: "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W

This Administration can’t even make the clocks run on time.


25 posted on 06/25/2011 3:44:00 AM PDT by buridan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: factoryrat

Do these people realize how many devices and processes will be screwed up by this? A lot of machinery relies on induction motors who’s running speed is reliant on line frequency.


I suppose you could look at this in two ways.

1. It’s time to screw around with the public even more and in ways that are hard to detect. Thus messing up individual and public perceptions of everything.

2. Trying to mess up as many reliable and ‘older’ machinery processes so that business and individuals will need to invest in newer more ‘reliable’ machinery. That can also be controlled through the smart meters, oh by the way.

Dear Lord forgive me, I am getting to be very paranoid.


26 posted on 06/25/2011 3:45:13 AM PDT by The Working Man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: John W

What is this going to do to computers? Or UPC backup units?


27 posted on 06/25/2011 3:48:35 AM PDT by PastorBooks
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W

In other words: We want to do a half-fast job with more money.


28 posted on 06/25/2011 3:52:42 AM PDT by Mr. K (CAPSLOCK! -Unleash the fury! [Palin/Bachman 2012- unbeatable ticket])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W
The test makes sense and should not cause too much of a hassle for people, said Jay Apt, a business professor and director of the Electricity Industry Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

Well, if a "business professor" says it's OK.......

29 posted on 06/25/2011 4:22:58 AM PDT by Roccus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W

i would not be surprised if Obama wishes for all generators to immediately start putting out 400MHz frequency instead of 6MHz, why?

Just to screw America.

Oh and they do have 400MHz generators, on most aircraft and a whole heck of a lot of military powerplants.


30 posted on 06/25/2011 4:35:02 AM PDT by Eye of Unk (2012, NO MORE LIES!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W

Freakin’ amazing - we brag about our techno superiority and then use a lowering of quality as a “fix”. While more and more stuff runs on DC power and has switched to digital, there is still a lot out there that will become unreliable and/or more short-lived. Electric motors don’t like constant variations or to run at a different Hz than designed for - American appliances tended to burn out fairly quick in Italy due to the frequency change.


31 posted on 06/25/2011 4:39:27 AM PDT by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W

” In the future, more use of renewable energy from the sun and wind will mean more variations in frequency on the grid, McClelland said. Solar and wind power can drop off the grid with momentary changes in weather. Correcting those deviations is expensive and requires instant backup power to be always at the ready, he said. “

Next-to-the-last-paragraph hidden agenda money quote....


32 posted on 06/25/2011 4:42:14 AM PDT by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W
It seems to me its more complicated than a bunch of messed up clocks.

I think it can get a lot more spectacular than messed up clocks. If the entire interconnect is not kept within a few percent of synchronized, you could end up with destroyed generators at power plants. Common problem with home generators, if not equipped with proper disconnect, grid power comes back on and the home generator is destroyed because it was not synchronized with the grid. I doubt that there are many large (megawatt) gensets sitting in warehouses waiting to be installed, and even those that are in warehouses, are going to take days to install.

33 posted on 06/25/2011 5:00:27 AM PDT by Fraxinus (My opinion, worth what you paid.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Ike

Good point.


34 posted on 06/25/2011 5:38:17 AM PDT by John W (Natural-born US citizen since 1955)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Ike
"In the future, more use of renewable energy from the sun and wind will mean more variations in frequency on the grid, McClelland said. Solar and wind power can drop off the grid with momentary changes in weather. Correcting those deviations is expensive and requires instant backup power to be always at the ready, he said."

I was wondering if anyone else caught that.

So this whole affair (which has the potential to be the real Y2K) is to try to accommodate the unreliability of "green" energy. Let's hope when the experiment fails, it doesn't bring down the entire grid.

If Obama is so brilliant, why does he put idiots in charge? (I am sure he didn't think of this one or have even the foggiest notion of what it means).

35 posted on 06/25/2011 5:47:03 AM PDT by HangThemHigh (Entropy's not what it used to be.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: factoryrat

That’s why one fellow in the article stated that a lot of things would break and we wouldn’t know why.


36 posted on 06/25/2011 5:47:03 AM PDT by Scotsman will be Free (11C - Indirect fire, infantry - High angle hell - We will bring you, FIRE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Scotsman will be Free
"That’s why one fellow in the article stated that a lot of things would break and we wouldn’t know why."

Well, we know the libs will blame Bush.

37 posted on 06/25/2011 5:54:20 AM PDT by HangThemHigh (Entropy's not what it used to be.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: John W

86,400 seconds in a day and a variation of 14 seconds in that period. Will that variation impact most operations in any significant manner? I’m not speaking of the most critical whatever they are determined to be but of the normal say household items.


38 posted on 06/25/2011 6:04:36 AM PDT by deport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: deport

The article focuses on just that and doesn’t seem to address the critical items and what effect there will be on those. If I have to reset things at home every so often, who cares? If the local water plant’s pump motors burn up on a weekly basis, thats another story.


39 posted on 06/25/2011 6:15:26 AM PDT by John W (Natural-born US citizen since 1955)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Smokin' Joe

Another great point. And, scheduled to start here in a couple weeks and this is the first that I am aware of that the information has been widely disseminated. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if you are exactly right.


40 posted on 06/25/2011 6:29:01 AM PDT by John W (Natural-born US citizen since 1955)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: John W

America’s power grid: reliable electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

One of the few things left in America that still works correctly and separates us from third world cesspits.

Obama is trying to destroy the power system by shutting down coal mines and coal generators.

But that’s not working fast enough so now they are going to “fix” a system that’s not broken.


41 posted on 06/25/2011 6:29:38 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The more effeminate & debauched the people, the more they are fitted for a tyrannical government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: factoryrat

We had an acre of CNC tools running, and lost one phase. Some of the parts were titanium. It took days to recover, and still a lot of scrap was made.


42 posted on 06/25/2011 6:36:51 AM PDT by Gorzaloon ("Mother...My Couric itches.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: MurrietaMadman

Thanks for the link. Very interesting and revealing article.


43 posted on 06/25/2011 6:51:08 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Looking for our Sam Adams)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Gorzaloon

That makes me think of the paper mill I used to work at when they had their own generators and the issues syncing with public utility power when one was restarted after being down. Might make that even more difficult than I recall unless something has changed over the years.


44 posted on 06/25/2011 6:52:19 AM PDT by John W (Natural-born US citizen since 1955)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Iron Munro
"America?s power grid: reliable electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Montgomery County, MD, eh not so much.

In one of the ten richest counties in the USA we have Pepco, which for the last two decades has been striving for third world capability. We might very well have the highest full house back-up generator per housing unit rate in the country.

Piss poor mgmt incapable of fore seeing the rapid growth which should have been evident from construction permit applications both in housing unit quantity and increased load per unit. Add the increased load imposed by consumer electrical goods on the aging existing housing stock coupled with the ultra liberal political structure it's a wonder that we don't have more outages than we do.

The same circumstances hold true for the Northern Virginia areas that Pepco serves.

Where I live transformers blow with regularity 5 or 6 times a year. (That's both pole and ground installations installed in the 60's.)

The local Lowe's starting selling 100 count AAA and AA batteries that coincided with the introduction of cheaper and more efficient LED emergency lighting. And they are sold out almost as soon as they hit the shelves. Now clerks just nod their their heads knowingly and say, "Pepco, right".

45 posted on 06/25/2011 7:04:02 AM PDT by Covenantor ("Men are ruled...by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern." Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Covenantor

Well, this experiment may result in you having a lot of company across the nation. Probably some of the brilliant minds behind this live in those territories and don’t realize how well the grid works in MOST of the rest of the country.


46 posted on 06/25/2011 7:13:49 AM PDT by John W (Natural-born US citizen since 1955)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: John W
follow the money... who has stock in power conditioning/filter/regulator companies
47 posted on 06/25/2011 8:00:03 AM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: John W
Well, this experiment may result in you having a lot of company across the nation. Probably some of the brilliant minds behind this live in those territories and don?t realize how well the grid works in MOST of the rest of the country.

Just so,as both the DC suburbs in MD and VA also have the highest concentrations of upper tier Gov employees and their consultants and lobbyists. Not only are they willfully ignorant, they truly flat out don't care about the rest of the country. Paraphrasing Marie Antoinette, "Black outs? Let them buy generators."

48 posted on 06/25/2011 8:00:47 AM PDT by Covenantor ("Men are ruled...by liars who refuse them news, and by fools who cannot govern." Chesterton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: factoryrat

***A lot of machinery relies on induction motors who’s running speed is reliant on line frequency.***

Further more, all generators on the same grid run at the same frequency, 60 hz. They are electricly tied together. The variable range of frequency is 57.5 to 62 hz. Anything under or over these ranges will automaticly trip off the generating units.

To send power from one grid to another the generating units must convert the AC electric load to high frequency DC power and the receiving grid must use a “static converter” to return the DC power to AC in their frequency range.


49 posted on 06/25/2011 8:20:44 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Click my name. See my home page, if you dare! NEW PHOTOS!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: factoryrat
Oh great! The AC line frequency in the US has been 60HZ since the beginning of time.

Actually, at the beginning of the electric era, the frequency was zero cycles per second. ≤}B^)

Later, several (nonzero) frequencies were used, such as 16.666... and 25 Hz. For heavy industrial uses such as electric railways, some of those low frequencies are still used.

[[Being a EE but not of the power variety, I have often wondered about the engineering considerations that resulted in the use of such low frequencies for industrial purposes even after consumer power in North America was settled at 60 cycles.]]

50 posted on 06/25/2011 8:25:45 AM PDT by Erasmus (I love "The Raven," but then what do I know? I'm just a poetaster.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-79 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson